New Barracuda survey explores the rising threat of e-mail

New Barracuda survey explores the rising threat of e-mail
Findings show that some companies are looking into instant messaging to reduce e-mail traffic

Elly Yates-Roberts |

A new survey by security and data protection firm Barracuda Networks has revealed the rising threat of e-mail. The findings also showed that some companies are looking into instant messaging to reduce e-mail traffic. 

Barracuda asked 280 high-level decision makers across different industries about their email security measures, how important they consider it to be and how equipped they are for an attack.

The results showed that the threat of e-mail attacks isn’t going away any time soon. Of the 280 participants, 87% predicted email threats to increase in the coming year and 75% said they had witnessed a steady increase in attacks over the past three years against their own organisation. 

In the last year, almost half (47%) of these were as a result of ransomware, 31% from a business email compromise attack, and 75% from brand impersonation. 

Regardless of companies’ awareness of the threat, 94% admitted that email is the most vulnerable part of organisations’ security and training in the area is lacking. Almost a third (29%) reported to receive training once a year and 7% stated they’d never had training or weren’t sure.

There is some hope on the horizon as 38% of respondents reported security budgets are increasing next year. But for most (62%) security budgets will either stay the same or decrease over the next. To reduce the threat cheaply, 36% are implementing instant messaging applications such as Slack or Yammer to reduce email traffic.

Barracuda suggests that while there haven’t been many attacks using these platforms yet, there may be in future. For those pursuing this method, the firm urges caution as attackers are likely to just change their tactic.    

“In the longer term, the right combination of technology and security awareness training is the key to email attack protection,” wrote Chris Ross, senior vice president of International Sales at Barracuda. “Attacks will always increase in sophistication, but as long as you stay ahead of the game, it is possible to keep the bad guys out. After all, even at 30 years old, email attacks are still proving profitable for cyber criminals, so they won’t stop any time soon…”

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